Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. The most common anaphylactic reactions are to foodsinsect stingsmedications and latex.

If you are allergic to a substance (allergen), your immune system overreacts to this allergen by releasing chemicals that then cause allergy symptoms. Typically, these bothersome symptoms occur in one location of the body. However, some people are susceptible to a much more serious reaction, an anaphylactic reaction. This reaction typically affects more than one part of the body at the same time.

Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, including an injection of epinephrine and a trip to a hospital emergency room. If this symptom is not treated properly, anaphylaxis can be fatal.

Certain people are more at risk to an anaphylactic reaction. If you have allergies or asthma and have a family history of anaphylaxis, your risk of experiencing this reaction is higher. Also, if you have experienced anaphylaxis before then your risk of having another anaphylactic reaction is increased.

An accurate diagnosis and successful management of allergies is essential to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis. An allergist / immunologist, often referred to as an allergist, has specialized training and experience to diagnose the problem and help you develop a plan to protect you in the future.


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